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WGA STRIKE UPDATE: MRC Reaches Side Deal with WGA

The Writers Guild of America said Monday that it signed another interim side deal, this one with independent TV and film producer MRC (Media Rights Capital).

That makes four such deals, starting with David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and including United Artists and The Weinstein Co.

But there have been not talks lately with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents most of the major TV- and film-production arms. The WGA and AMPTP sides are at an impasse, particularly over how to compensate writers for new-media plays.

The WGA said the agreement with MRC was similar to the one with Worldwide Pants. That deal, in addition to clarifying the new media covered by residuals (cell-phone as well as Internet delivery, for example), includes setting residuals on new media, boosting pay TV residuals, requiring that studios consult with showrunners over any product integration and establishing that the category of "other nondramatic programming" includes reality shows and gives examples. Currently, nondramatic examples are "comedy-variety, quiz and audience participation."

MRC funds movies (Babel) and is developing for TV and broadband, according to the WGA, with money from various investors including AT&T, WPP Group, Goldman Sachs and talent agency Endeavor.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.